Our family of 8 stayed in this rental for three nights at the start of August. It was OK and the location was great due to its proximity to the beach, but we found that many other aspects of the property were definitely subpar, especially given the amount we paid for it. Additionally, there were a few things that were incorrectly stated in the description of the property.
First of all, the problem that stood out most was the air conditioning. The rental management company, as well as the description on TripAdvisor and other sites, indicated that the house has air conditioning. There is a small (and noisy) window unit in the very last bedroom of the house, but it's just enough to cool that one room; it's certainly not big enough to cool the entire house. Normally that wouldn't have been a big problem, but since the company specifically directed us to this property because we had asked for A/C, and since it cost $160 more per night than a similar unit because of the A/C, we definitely felt like that was a problem. We contacted the property management company while we were staying there, and they sent a guy named Thomas who was in charge of upkeep on the property. He was very friendly but apparently overwhelmed, and he also indicated that the only A/C was indeed the unit in the back room, and that the rest of the house didn't have A/C. We didn't want to take our annoyance out on him, so we called the company again a few times, and we also chatted online and asked for a partial refund for the difference between the A/C place and the non-A/C place. We said that it seemed to us to be false advertising, but we wanted to give them a chance to solve the problem before we wrote a negative review. But we never heard from them again regarding that, other than during our initial call, when the representative said that Thomas would look into it.
The other huge problem is that it says it sleeps 8, but that's imagining that 2 people would sleep in the living room. That wouldn't be a big deal, especially for the college-aged crowd, but there was no sofa bed, which would have been logical. And in fact, the management company informed us that there was a sofa bed in the living room. Instead, there was a sofa--which was very uncomfortable in its own right (what sofa manufacturer puts springs in the cushions??)--and a mattress in the back room, which we were apparently supposed to move to the living room every night so that 2 people could sleep on it. Again, normally not a big deal, but the mattress was absolutely disgusting. I'm not exaggerating when I say that it looked like someone was murdered on it. I'll attach a photo, but there was a big, red stain that started in the center and appeared to drip down to the edge. We mentioned this when we called the rental company to describe the problems, and they also asked Thomas to deal with this. To his credit, he did take out the mattress and bring a single-sized mattress from another nearby property, and that one was not as dirty.
Those are the biggest problems, but there were other, smaller things. The 3 beds were uncomfortable, and also hot due to the lack of A/C or good crosswinds (there is an alleyway and some dumpsters right below the bedroom windows). There were very few dishes and not enough silverware (one would expect at least 8 of everything, since it's supposed to sleep 8 people, but there weren't even 8 plates, glasses, or mugs, for example), and they were also short on bath towels, hand towels, and things like dishwasher detergent. There were parts that were needing repair, like a hole in the wall behind the door in the large bathroom, a towel rack that was falling out of the wall in the other, and some missing slats in the blinds in the main bedroom.
Again, the location is great if you want to go to the beach, and it's right next to a lot of cool things like restaurants and the ferry to Balboa Island. And if you're going at a cooler time of year instead of the dead of summer, you may not even notice that there's no A/C in 80% of the house. But we definitely did.
We were personally limited a bit in our choices because many rentals have a 7-night minimum in July and August, and we were only staying 3 nights. So that narrowed down the selection considerably.
You should also be careful about who you book this place through, although we didn't think we had a choice. We used HelloRelaxation, and it seems that there are just too many people involved, and it's hard to figure out who's in charge, while no one really takes responsibility for problems that arise, anyhow. Also, the payment could be made through check, bank transfer, or PayPal. We chose PayPal for speed, since the payment needed to clear before the unit would be held. But that also meant that the deposit had to be made through PayPal (and because of that we lost about 4% when they returned the deposit). All in all, there were quite a few hassles, and I suspect that a site like AirBnB or a similar one might be a bit clearer in its dealings.
I'm giving this place just a 2 out of 5 because although it was a great location, the house itself is misrepresented and needs a lot of work. I would give it 1, but I also don't want to seem like we have a grudge, and I do want potential renters to take it seriously. It might be a great place if you're in college (there are several bars just feet away), but for a family like ours, it wasn't the ideal place.
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|How easy was key pickup/access to the property?||Overall condition of the property|
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